Just my rotten luck! All the really good New Year's resolutions have been taken. McDuffie County folks plan to improve their health, their budgets and their neighborhoods. They plan minor adjustments and major changes. They plan to build on established good habits.
They didn't leave many resolution choices for me. Read on; I bet they've snatched up your resolution, too.
"I'm quitting smoking," said Ashley Weber, a server at Hogie Joe's Sports Grill. She's been smoking for eight years, she said, and figures that's enough.
Kristen Murphy, also on the Hogie Joe's serving staff, said her money "just disappears" and she wants to change that. "I'm going to spend less money," she said. "I need a budget plan for 2011."
Fellow server Jessica Langham has her eye on another aspect of the food industry. After training to become a registered dietitian at Georgia Southern University and serving an internship at University Hospital, she's ready to apply that training. "My resolution is to get a job in my degree," she said.
Nearby on Railroad Street, Maria Patel's resolution centers on family. "I want to spend more time with my kids and my husband," she said. That would be sons Kevin, 8, and Tony, 2; thus the initials of K and T Mart.
Next door, at It's a Southern Thing, shop owner Frankie Galbreath's philosophy guides her 2011 resolution. "I will shop local, and I will shop American-owned businesses," she said. "It's the American businesses that need our help today."
Many who worked or visited Thomson last week did not plan to make resolutions at all, but it was not for lack of caring.
"I don't do resolutions. I just pray to be closer to the Lord next year," said Nether Ivery at Ivery's Restaurant.
Next door at Stephanie's Salon, Stephanie Ivery had similar thoughts. "I don't do resolutions. I just try to do better, live better," she said.
Let's pause here. This might startle you, but I had a hunch those last two were acquainted. As it turns out, they are married. Don't feel bad if you missed it. Please understand that I am a seasoned observer and am trained to pick up on obscure clues. Perhaps you, too, could resolve to assemble details with that same ease.
Dr. Judieth Brown, of Evans, a patron of Stephanie's Salon, wasn't sure she would make a resolution. "I want to think about it, so when I break it I can say, 'How could I have broken that one?' " she said.
Anthony Hamilton took a break from his work at Attitudes Hair Studio on Main Street to mull the resolutions question. "Probably to be a better father to my children," he said. The four children are ages 1 to 16.
Across the street, Kerry Ferguson at the Y130 had a health goal in mind. "I'm definitely going to lose 10 pounds," she said. She plans to "eat healthier, work out."
Y130 client Paul Michael Nickles, a Norris Elementary fourth-grader, said, "I'm gonna get along better with my sister."
Meanwhile, Kaylyn Beth Nickles, a Thomson-McDuffie Middle School seventh-grader, confessed to being too involved in school activities and resolved to be "less involved in some of the stuff" to have more time for herself.
As I said, Thomson scooped up the good resolutions -- and the nonresolutions, too.
I had planned to resolve to spend more time at Hogie Joe's in 2011, but about 50 folks beat me to that one, too.
After a weekend of sorting the leftovers, here's my 2011 Master Plan. This newcomer has been treated to camaraderie, cobbler and courtesy. I've found supportive co-workers in Lynn Davidson, Janet Wells, Cheryl Williams, Billy Hobbs and Todd Rainwater. I've found helpful news sources, friendly Kiwanis and Rotary lunches and patient strangers who endure annoying questions.
I've been the Kiwanis guest of WTHO's Donna Branch. Thank you. My resolution is to be worthy of the Mirror and McDuffie spirit.
I resolve to ask even more annoying questions of perplexed strangers in 2011 and to let their humor brighten these pages.
I resolve not to gain all the weight everyone else is losing.
Finally, I resolve to claim my resolution earlier next year, before the good ones are taken.
But this year, Gladys Rodgers, of Dearing, beat all of us to the punch.
"It's to be kinder, more loving and more caring," she said. And she's not worried about measuring her success at this time next year. "God measures," she said.